Sri Lanka stocks down, interest in Eastern Merchants

EconomyNext – Sri Lankan stocks closed weaker Wednesday dragged lower by losses in index heavyweight with some interest seen in Eastern Merchants on a land sales and in Lanka Aluminium after good earnings, brokers said. 

The benchmark All Share Price Index dropped 33.91 points (0.46 percent) to close at 7,266.84, while the S&P SL20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks, fell 3.49 points (0.09 percent) to end at 4,074.62.

Turnover was just 804 million rupees with several crossings or off-the-floor negotiated deals, in Commercial Bank of 0.5 million shares at 180.00 per share, 100,000 Distilleries at 230.00 per share and 200,000 John Keells Holdings at 213.00 per share.

"Colombo shares concluded the day on a weak note following a batch of mixed corporate earnings and rising T-bill yields," Lanka Securities said in a report.

Eastern Merchants was traded heavily following the announcement of its sale of land and buildings in Union Place and Vauxhall Street with the stock rising sharply to a 52-week high of 11.70 rupees, up 75 percent.

Lanka Aluminium attracted investor interest after good December quarter earnings with the stock closing up 7.5 percent at 73.10 rupees.

Price drops in Ceylon Tobacco, John Keells Holdings and Dialog Axiata pulled back the index, the brokers said.

Foreign investors were net sellers with an outflow of 57 million rupees, mainly in Hatton National Bank non-voting, John Keells Holdings and Chevron Lubricants while net foreign inflow was mainly seen in Sampath Bank.

Singhe Hospitals Limited announced that the stock exchange had approved listing of ordinary voting shares of the company on the Diri Savi second board.

The company is offering 100 million ordinary shares in an initial public offering at 2.50 rupees per share with the prospectus to be delivered on 27th February 2015.





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